6/23/17 – Feels Like We Are Back in the Desert

Day 61Miles: 1,367.17 to 1,389.59

Total miles hiked: 805.74
When we finished the desert part of Southern California I was happy to leave the scorching sun and long exposed waterless stretches behind. My happiness lasted until today.

Mt. Shasta – maybe we take a side trip to climb it

Today we walked upon a Hat Creek Rim, a 30 mile waterless stretch that took us along a rim with scenic views but very little shade. After the initial 500-foot climb the terrain was mostly flat with occasional rolling ups and downs and so the distance can potentially be hiked in a day, if it wasn’t for hiking it during a heatwave with temperatures expected to climb to mid 90’s.

Afternoon siesta to beat the heat

What did not help at all was JJ’s Cafe, 8 miles into our hike that lured us in with a promise of good food. The food was just as good as we’ve heard but we lost about an hour and a half of the cooler part of the day there and afterwards we walked directly into the heat.

We managed to push 14 more miles, but they were not pleasant. The day was hot and shade minimal. We were happy to find a cluster of trees for siesta, and we had our sun umbrellas to aid us but still it was a long sweaty day which was made even longer since the rim is west-facing and so we enjoyed the sun until it dropped behind horizon.

View from Hat Creek Rim

We didn’t make it all the way to a 500 gallon water tank at mile 1,391 which we aimed for. About three miles before that there was a smaller water cache that helped us quench the thirst and made it possible to dry camp. 

Jugs of water – the best gift along a waterless stretch

We have at least one more day of heatwave hiking. I sure hope that when we get to Burney tomorrow night and I have a chance to check the forecast, it will show more pleasant hiking weather for next week. 

This is what legs are typically looking like after a day of hiking